This is my first Benjamin Black book about the quirky pathologist Dr. Quirke but it's not going to be I received this book from NetGalley. Thank you.
This is my first Benjamin Black book about the quirky pathologist Dr. Quirke but it's not going to be the last. I so enjoyed this story set in Dublin that I am going to go back and read the earlier ones. Benjamin Black is the pseudonym John Banville, a truly lyrical author. Dublin quickly becomes a character in this novel and I love a book with a strong sense of place.
Quirke is on medical leave when the story opens. He is staying with his stepbrother and wife when his assistant encounters an interesting case and seeks advice from him. Quirke is intrigued and is quickly back at work. He works with his police friend, Detective Hackett, in a case of a frightened woman who is sucked into a scheme for selling Catholic babies to rich Americans.
Here's the one thing that bothered me so much that I dropped the rating a star. I don't know if it was a plot device or a cultural thing but it annoyed me. They were looking for a woman who had given them a fake name. They knew where she lived and asked the landlord about Lisa Smith. The landlord denied knowing her. Then instead of asking who lived there, they just walk away. Why not ask that question. Then they return days later and search the apartment. By then it had cleaned out and there were no clues. It just bothered me. Why not ask at the beginning?
I enjoyed the pace of the book and there were some lovely twists. I loved Dublin as a character. I loved the characters. A good mystery that I recommend. ...more
This is my least favorite book in the series so far. It's set in the late 1950's in the Scottish Highlands so I love that. Joanne Ross has m3.5 stars
This is my least favorite book in the series so far. It's set in the late 1950's in the Scottish Highlands so I love that. Joanne Ross has made the startling step of leaving her abusive husband and become a budding reporter for the local weekly newspaper. She is somewhat shunned for her decisions. A woman working? Living away from your husband? Tut, tut, tut.
In this one a newspaper employee is murdered and another one is arrested for the murder. The paper is in chaos and the editor is too upset to work. With just a few employees, a mysterious visitor from America steps in to help out. It turns out he has hidden ties to the area.
The part that irritates me is Ross falls madly for a totally unsuitable man and just goes googled-eyes. She can't see her nose on the front of her face. It is so annoying the harm and danger she gets involved in.
I still like the series. I love the 50's time period and I love the setting in the Scottish Highlands. I just women wouldn't be so gullible....more
I really enjoyed Lisa Lutz's Spellman series. It was funny and I liked the family dynamics. This is not a continuation of those books. It's much more I really enjoyed Lisa Lutz's Spellman series. It was funny and I liked the family dynamics. This is not a continuation of those books. It's much more serious but, underneath, Spellman's sly sense of humor peeks out. It's not laugh out loud funny put more like a poke in the ribs.
A woman comes home and finds her husband dead at the bottom of the stairs. Instead of calling the police as I would do, she takes off on the run. It's as if she has a manual of how to disappear. She changes her looks, her hair, draws money out of the ATM and after obtaining a fake passport, her name. As she goes into hiding she is always looking for a new identity. She looks for someone who resembles her, steals their purse and then is on to a new identity. Has she done this before?
She meets some interesting characters including Blue, a female bartender. Blue scares me and she intimidates our protagonist under whatever name she is using at the time. Kindred spirits seem to recognize each other.
I found the ending quite satisfying and the story really moved along at a great pace. It was quite enjoyable and I highly recommend it....more
This is a wonderful anthology of short, delightful, Golden Age Christmas stories, mostly mysteries, put out by the British Library Crime Classics. Th This is a wonderful anthology of short, delightful, Golden Age Christmas stories, mostly mysteries, put out by the British Library Crime Classics. There are stories by well known authors such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy Sayers and Edmund Crispen and then some lesser known, but quite talented, writers.
Each author has a little biography about them in front of their story which really adds something special. I liked the stories and they have stood the test the test of time.
So as Christmas season gets busy, take a little break and read a delightful short story that is sure to raise your Christmas cheer. ...more
This is an incredible book. It's very short (just over 200 pages) but so meaningful. It is the story of L I received this from Net Galley. Thank you.
This is an incredible book. It's very short (just over 200 pages) but so meaningful. It is the story of Lucy Barton's life. She has had her problems but she remains so true to herself and so open that it almost breaks your heart. I really don't want to go into it too much because I don't want to give the story away. It's life peeling onions and I want to leave the joy of discovery as you peel the layers off.
Suffice it to say, that this is probably my favorite book of the year. The writing is exquisite and the story is so true. Do yourselves a favor and read this when it comes out in Jan. It will touch you....more
The book is about David from the Bible. He was interesting person who was both good and very bad as most of us are. He basked in God's good grace and leaned on his seer and prophet, Natan.
You'd think this would be fascinating but it started out very slow and I almost put it aside several times. It was only my admiration of Brooks that kept me going. I finally figured it what the problem was. Brooks made the choice of using the Hebrew of the Tanakh for people's names and locations.
I am not sure why she made this choice but Solomon became Shlomo and Shmuel wad Samuel. I had a difficult time keeping people straight. I had trouble keeping Avigal and Avinadav, both David's sons, straight. The same with Yoav and Yonadav, his nephews. I wish she would have used the names we are familiar with.
The stories about the women were horrific. What happened to his daughter and his reaction to it almost made me throw up. I am glad I was not a woman then.
The ending picked up so I gave it 3 stars. I just wish Brooks had made this book more accessible to the main stream market. It's a great story but could have been told much better....more
I would never have picked this book on my own as it's way out of my comfort zone but that's what book clubs do best. This was my GR Irish group read I would never have picked this book on my own as it's way out of my comfort zone but that's what book clubs do best. This was my GR Irish group read this month and, in a very odd way, I enjoyed this. It was full of peculiar characters, a macabre atmosphere and a story that is full of surprises.
Merricat lives an isolated existence with her older sister, Constance, and her Uncle Julian. There was a terrible tragedy at the house about 6 years ago and the odd family has become the village's outcasts. The simple fact of going to the grocery store and the library, terrifies 18 year old Merricat but she has to. Constance doesn't leave the house. In spite of everything they are happy and content.
Then Cousin Charles comes looking for their treasures and things must be done to restore the balance of life they had. What happens is enough to curl your toes. For such a short book it really punches a wallop. It's a great book for Halloween. ...more
This was an enjoyable historical mystery featuring Charles Lenox, former member of Parliament and now a part owner of a private detective agency. Yes This was an enjoyable historical mystery featuring Charles Lenox, former member of Parliament and now a part owner of a private detective agency. Yes, the aristocratic Lenox is now in "trade" for goodness sake. Meanwhile his wife, Lady Jane, is throwing parties that Royalty attend.
Lenox is involved in investigating not one but two mysteries. In London, a German pianist disappears in very mysterious circumstances that has the entire nation speculating on what happened. This could be a real boon for the agency if they can find the pianist. Meanwhile Charles accompanies his grieving brother to their childhood home in Markethouse. There is quite a mystery going on there with a series of small burglaries and finally a stabbing of the mayor. Working on the cases simultaneously keeps Charles on the go.
I learned a few things from this book. The expression, Riot Act, comes from a law enacted by George I in 1714. As a Hanoverian he was afraid the Stewart faction would try to overthrow him. He made a law making it illegal for 12 or more people to engage in "tumultuous assembly." This has evolved into our usage of reading someone the riot act. The other thing is the term, lackluster, comes from Shakespeare. He made it up. I love a book that teaches me new things.
I highly recommend this book as entertaining and informative. ...more
I have always enjoyed the Mitford series and have a little crush on Father Tim. Sorry Cynthia. I was really looking forward to the story of Dooley an I have always enjoyed the Mitford series and have a little crush on Father Tim. Sorry Cynthia. I was really looking forward to the story of Dooley and Lace's wedding. I thought it would just shine. Unfortunately for me, it did not. There are several reasons for this:
1. I found jumping around different people's stories without any kind of preparation quite unsettling. You would be reading about Dooley's thoughts and suddenly it would be Harley. It was unsettling for a long time reader but I despair for any new reader trying to make sense of this or even how certain characters were important to the story.
2. There was just too many things going on. Dooley was graduating, opening his new business, getting married all at once. It just seemed overwhelming and things kept getting add to the pot. Yet some important situations were skipped over. I would love to have been in the selection of Lace's wedding dress especially since so much time was devoted to thinking about it.
3. There was just not enough Father Tim in it for me. He is the heart and soul of the books and I needed a bigger fix.
What I did like was a surprise near the end that was so sweet and right that it took my breath away. It was special enough that I raised my rating to three stars....more
I received this from Net Galley and Poisoned Pen Press. Thank you.
This book is set in the 1270's during Edward I and Queen Eleanor's reign.3.5 stars
I received this from Net Galley and Poisoned Pen Press. Thank you.
This book is set in the 1270's during Edward I and Queen Eleanor's reign. Frankly I am not that up on English royalty for Eleanor is the great granddaughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine. This queen is quite the trooper. She was pregnant 16 times in 20 years and had 13 living children. My hat's off to her and if that wasn't enough, she kept her slender figure. Darn her.
Royalty has gathered in Oxfordshire for Eleanor to give birth. Her husband rides on ahead after the birth of his daughter and others come to attend Eleanor and Prioress Eleanor comes to wait on her father, Baron Wynethorpe as he lies dying. As the turmoil swirls, the hated mistress of the manor is found murdered.
Blame goes to the Jews as their has just major raid on their community for the crime of coining. The Prioress does not believe it and she swiftly investigates.
The perpetrator of the crime is easily discerned early in the story but the sense of place is great. I felt like I had been transported back to the times and found it very interesting. I like the characters and the discussion of the knight's PTS.
If you like books like Brother Cadafel, you'll enjoy this. ...more
This book containing one novella and three short stories literally sang it's way off the paper. This book could almost be poetry with it's evocative This book containing one novella and three short stories literally sang it's way off the paper. This book could almost be poetry with it's evocative writing and strong descriptions. The first story deals with Mr. Mendellssohn and what turns out to be a very important day for him. An elderly retired jurist he brings to life the indignities of aging. He is assisted by a cheerful caretaker, Sally, and rails against the dying light. The ending is quite ambiguous but life really is that.
The short stories deal with a soldier on duty in Afghanistan on New Year's Eve, a mother and her deaf son, and a nun trying to make peace with a horrifying incident in South America. All of them are touching and strike a chord in your heart.
McCann finished this book after he had been attacked and hurt in a street incident. You can get a feel of which stories were written before the attack and which ones after or maybe that's just a reader's conceit. It's irrelevant, really, because the book is so exquisite and touching that you don't want to put it down.
This is a homerun. Thanks to Net Galley for making it available to me. ...more
One of my great pleasures in life is a new Precious Ramotswe book in the Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. I throw everything aside and settleOne of my great pleasures in life is a new Precious Ramotswe book in the Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. I throw everything aside and settle in for a wonderful time with the calmness Mma Ramotswe brings me. The last thing I expected though was that she was going on vacation. What? Vacation? Well, sort of. It's her version of a vacation she was maneuvered into taking by her funny assistant, Mma Makutsi. This means, of course, Grace will be in charge. Will the detective agency survive?
Precious does not do well with free time. She has a run in with a young boy who tries to get "protection" money from her to guard her van. This is both a funny and touching incident as many of her meetings are. How she handles things and people are just wonderful. Has any of them rubbed off on Mma Makutsi? You'll have to read the book to find out how well she does leading the agency.
You can't go wrong on this book and it make me feel much happier after I read it. I think Precious would like that....more
2.5 stars There are times when I read a book and then the reviews, I wonder if I read the book. This is one of those books. I found this book so sacch2.5 stars There are times when I read a book and then the reviews, I wonder if I read the book. This is one of those books. I found this book so saccharine, so gushing, so star struck that it was barely readable to me. I almost made an appointment for the dentist as my teeth ached from so much sweetness. I can not tell you how much this book left me cold and it was only seventy five pages near the end that saved it as an one star for me. Let me be clear. I have read this author before and like her. I am truly disappointed.
The story centers around Truman Capote and Babe Paley's friendship in the late 1950's/early 1960's. It is full of stories of the famous rich and famous of that time period like C.Z. Guest, Pam Churchill, Diana Vreeland and even appearances from Betty Bacall and Jackie Kennedy. They were Truman's swans who found him so amusing. He gossiped with them, flattered them and became their pet. he participated in their parties, stayed in their houses and shared their secrets.
Frankly I did not find them interesting at all. Their lives seemed so boring to me. It consisted of lunching, shopping and keeping themselves in perfect shape. They were bored out of their minds and looking for a diversion when Capote stumbled into their lives and they all adored him. It gives you a pictures of the privileges they seemingly enjoyed but it also lays out the high price they paid for it. Their subservience to men so they could stay married to the money was just horrifying. It is terrible to envision the beautiful and stylish Babe Pauley rub her husband's feet and keeping her make-up on all night so he could never see her face bare. Shudder.
Here are some examples of the gushing writing. "She (Babe) was a princess, a walking fairy tale." Truman says, "You simply can't understand how glorious they were, those girls!" Truman's supposedly last thoughts, "The splendor of belonging, being included, prized, coveted. The beauty of a perfectly tailored shirt, crisp, blinding white, just out of a box. The beauty of taffeta, the tinkling of bells, diamonds, emeralds, a pristine paper flower. Beauty."
If you are interested in the lives of the rich and famous who fill their days with shopping, eating, caring for their bodies and faces, partying and not much else then this book could be the one for you. I'm not so it wasn't the books for me....more